Men’s Oral Health Awareness
Over the years, many studies have shown that men are less likely to visit a primary care physician. Unfortunately, this fact is also true when it comes to seeking oral healthcare and hygiene. According to the University of Illinois at Chicago, men are more likely to neglect oral health care, develop oral or throat cancer, acquire gum disease and lose teeth by age 72. It’s for this reason that developing proper oral healthcare habits early in life is extremely important.
From the doctors here at Gaston Dental Associates, here are three tips to maintaining a happy, healthy smile.
- Regular Comprehensive Exams One of the main ways to prevent oral health issues (that can be linked to cancer, heart disease, gum disease and tooth loss) is by getting regular dental exams. Men should have a comprehensive dental exam (including cleanings and X-rays when needed) every six months to a year, in an effort to improve oral health and prevent future problems from occurring. Regular dental exams also mean screenings for early signs of oral cancer, which can help identify issues before they become more serious.
- Maintain Proper Hygiene We’re told from the time we are kids that we need to floss at least once per day and brush twice a day. What may have seemed like your parents’ nagging is actually some of the best advice you can get for maintaining oral health. Tiny food particles get stuck between teeth in places that brushing won’t reach, expediting the risk of tooth decay and enamel erosion. It doesn’t take long for the decay process to begin, which is why it’s so important to floss at least once per day. The University of Illinois at Chicago says that on average, men brush their teeth just 1.9 times a day—which means many men fail to meet good oral hygiene recommendations. The American Dental Association suggests brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristled brush, replacing toothbrushes every three to four months, brushing at a 45-degree angle from the gums and using short brushing strokes (up and down and side to side).
- Maintain a Healthy Diet Following a proper diet helps prevent cavities and creates the foundation for good oral hygiene in children—something they’ll carry with them into adulthood. Eating certain foods helps with cavity prevention by fighting plaque buildup. When it comes to your oral health, the University of Rochester Medical Center says tooth-friendly foods include fruits, vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, other calcium-rich dairy substitutes, green and black teas, sugarless chewing gum and fluoridated drinking water. Foods to steer clear of include sticky candies, sweets, soft breads, potato chips, soda and other sugary drinks. Kids and adults alike can chew sugarless gum after meals to boost saliva flow for added cavity prevention.